Cambodia Photo Diary: Part 1

New Year in Cambodia? Usually, my time between Christmas and New Year is spent mostly wearing pyjamas, watching Disney movies and working my way through a selection box. This Christmas though was a little different as on the 27th of December – instead of the most mobile thing I do being moving from bed to my sofa, Ollie and I jumped on a plane (actually, a tube, a train, two planes, a taxi and a tuk-tuk…) to make our way from cold London to sunny Cambodia. It was a pretty amazing trip – so I thought I’d share a Cambodia photo diary with you,  and here is part one.

We actually spent very little time on the main land of Cambodia as we were staying on the island of Koh Rong – in a resort called Palm Beach. Now, one thing I learnt pretty quickly was that resort in Cambodian terms isn’t necessarily the same as resort in UK terms. It basically means it’s a decent step up from a typical back-packer place, but not on the same scale as a hotel. But more on this later.

The reason we were on Koh Rong was because we were there to visit Ollie’s brother, Ben  – who lives on the island as that’s where he works (he runs an ecological dive site out there). So we decided it was a great opportunity to visit him and get some sun in the process. The island is a pretty insane journey to get to, after the long journey just to get to Cambodia itself, we then had to get a taxi (you can get a bus, but this takes longer) from Phnom Penh the capital to Sihanoukville, which took around 4/5 hours. Then from there we got on a boat to the island – normally this takes 2-3 hours, but the water was a tad choppy (I nearly lost my lunch) so it took nearly 4… not the most fun 4 hours of my life, but arriving to the beach that’s the thing of postcars and Pinterest dreams was worth it.

cambodia photo diary 2

Cambodia Travel Diary Blog

Ollie and Ben on the boat to the island… before we set off


Hotel Nine in Phnom Penh – where we stayed for one night before heading to the island

Camdodia Travel Diary: Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Cambodia Travel Diary Blog

Government buildings in Phnom Penh

Cambodian Petrol Protest

A protest over petrol prices that was riding into the city, just as we were leaving

The view from Palm Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia

The view from Palm Beach, Koh Rong

Cambodia Travel Diary Blog

Cambodian Lager – not mine!

Koh Rong, Cambodia

Some of the villagers homes at Palm Beach, Koh Rong


Man collecting fresh coconuts

Cambodian crabs

Beach crabs…


Another gorgeous day in paradise – looking out to Song Saa (private island resort)

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

They don’t lie… it is a long swim!

Palm Beach, Koh Rong Cambodia

A bloggers nightmare! But actually really refreshing.

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

Five Mile Beach, Koh Rong

Me on Five Mile Beach, Koh Rong – one of the most gorgeous and unspoilt beaches I’ve ever seen.

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

Sun in December… surreal, but amazing!

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

More crabs… I found them amusing!

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

Sun setting over the beach huts at Palm Beach

The beach bar at Palm Beach, Koh Rong

Meet Mini Beast, the kitten belonging to Beast, the bar man at Palm Beach!

Beach BBQ Palm Beach, Koh Rong

Beach BBQ for NYE on Koh Rong

large gecko Cambodia

This is George… our friendly (or not) Gecko room mate for our trip…

The accommodation on Koh Rong is idyllic in many ways, but also very basic. The whole island only has limited electricity, so the generators for the resort only run from 6-10pm. There’s no hot water and the shower is basically a pipe and shower head coming through the wall of a shed. The rooms are basically sheds, with gaps around the floorboards and on the roof – and as you can see above, we had some guests we were sharing with. This is George, the rather large gecko we shared our hut with (not for lack of trying to get him to leave, but they’re creatures of habit…). He was large, and noisy – as apparently, when Geckos are on heat, they like to shout like demented cuckoos. Which meant there were a few nights with little or no sleep (thanks to George…and the local cockerels on the island making us aware the moment the sun began to get close to making an appearance) but nothing that couldn’t be made up for with a sleep in a hammock on the beach.

But the beach was absolutely stunning – one day we took a walk over to the other side of the island to visit Five Mile Beach (also known as 7km Beach…) it was a long walk, around an hour and a half along beach, through jungle (eek!) and along pretty darn basic ‘roads’ (with about one moped on the whole thing). But when we got there it was stunning. The picture with the boat at the top is from the beach there. Pure turquoise water, perfect white sand and next to zero people. It was stunning.

Keep and eye out for part two of my Cambodia photo diary!  More to come soon…along with another exciting travel post, from New York!

We stayed at Hotel Nine, Phnom Penh and  Palm Beach, Koh Rong 



  1. January 26, 2014 / 3:21 pm

    These photos look amazing, especially the sunset on the beach! I bet you were glad to see your own bed again after all that! Still looks like a gorgeous place, though 🙂

  2. January 26, 2014 / 3:32 pm

    Beautiful photos. Hope you had a wonderful time. I can’t wait to go on holiday this year!


  3. Chloe
    January 26, 2014 / 7:43 pm

    No Angkor Wat?

    • Jen
      January 26, 2014 / 7:51 pm

      Hi Chloe, No – we didn’t make it there this time. We would have loved to, but were mostly there to spend time with my fiance’s brother who lives and works on the island so Angjor Wat wasn’t an option for the trip sadly!

  4. Tara
    January 27, 2014 / 1:46 pm

    Amazing! Me and my boyfriend are planning on going to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand for a 4 week trip this summer 🙂 this makes me even more excited to go!

    Tara xox

    • Jen
      January 28, 2014 / 7:28 am

      If you have time I totally recommend a visit to Koh Rong, it’s gorgeous! Palm Beach there is a really great, chilled out place to stay for a while!

      • Tara
        January 30, 2014 / 4:21 pm

        Just Googled it – it is gorgeous! If we have time, we’ll definitely check it out! Thanks for the tip!

  5. January 29, 2014 / 8:40 pm

    Such gorgeous photos! <3 If you're into travelling I would definitely recommend Koh Tao, a small island in Thailand (close to Koh Samui). I was there about 15 years ago though, it might be completely different now … Back then it was something between rural and tourist, it was so beautiful x

    Živa from Nothin’ Fancy. Really.

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